by Pastor Tim Burt
I was in my car following Google maps to my destination for an important meeting I was co-leading with a good friend at a university campus. I was not familiar with the location and depended on the step-by-step instructions it was giving me. It suddenly brought me to a construction road block with no place to go. It then rerouted me in another direction leading me again to a different construction roadblock. I was getting anxious because it was getting close to the start of the meeting time and I was one of two presenters of the meeting. It rerouted me back to the previous construction roadblock and I was now in a dead-end loop without knowing how to get to where I was going. I called my friend. He took the meeting and I went home! Not knowing where I was going or how to get there was a horrible experience.
I’ve had a great many people say to me over my 40 years of ministry that they don’t know if their life is headed in the right direction. I’ve discovered that it’s a secret fear a great many people have. People hope they have the right God, the right philosophy of life, the right spouse, the right job and on and on. People are glad that GPS was invented but wish they had a Life GPS System!
There are many who do love God and are trying to live for Him and yet they feel this way. There are many who don’t know God who feel this way. And there are many who were once close to God who have wandered from their faith who feel this way. God, am I heading in the direction you want me to go in? They’re looking for help and direction for getting their life back on track with God. As I am sitting here writing this, I am waiting for a call from such a person right now.
Many are actually able to identify where their life began to get off track and then I hear them utter words of regret like, If only I had paid attention to what I knew deep down in my heart.
On that note, I want to show you one of the most sobering prophetic truths that Jesus left for us concerning the last days. But, before I show it to you, first imagine yourself as a parent giving a warning to your child to be careful about something. Your motive is love, not condemnation. You love them and you want them to avoid the thing that could hurt them. This usually becomes almost every parent’s plight at some point. This was the heart and spirit with which Jesus spoke these words to His disciples. (In regard to the last days,) Jesus said, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…” Matthew 24:12 (NIV) Jesus revealed that because of the ever-increasing level of evil, sin, wickedness, and corruption in this earth—especially in the last days, that it was going to invade our individual lives and cause our love for God, for life, and for mankind “to grow cold.” People would get tired of people, and then tired of life and then tired of living. It would also work to influence your life and send you in the wrong direction—off His path for your life.
Jesus is love and He is your only source of understanding and experiencing real love. Only Jesus, the author and creator of love can show us what love is and how to love others. When your love for Him grows cold, then your ability to know and give love to others has grown cold.
This world has really changed and not for the better. Can you see the truth of His prophetic words in the world around you today? The evidence of this being true is this: Christians have become tolerant toward sin in their own life. The sins that were once considered unacceptable and vile have now become acceptable and the new norm. Is that okay? No! Must you change it? Yes!
So how do I turn this devotion your reading right now, toward some point of edification and encouragement? Here’s how. Think for a moment about how you feel when you find out you are driving in the wrong direction. Think about how good it feels when you stop and ask for directions. Getting back on track and headed toward your destination feels so great! It makes you want to be more cautious next time. Getting back on track is a decision that can be made in a moment’s time. You stop. You talk with the Lord. You be honest about what is going on in your life and the path that your on. You ask Him to reveal things in your life that you’ve given yourself over to that you know aren’t pleasing to God. Things such as profanity, sexual immorality, or the worship (time commitment) to everything except God. Or polluting your body—the temple of the Holy Spirit with alcohol or drugs or horrible foods, or looking at sexually inappropriate materials leading to masturbation and pornography. Or allowing offense and unforgiveness drive you away from good things in your life. And this all leading to the abandonment of Bible reading, going to church, and disconnecting from Christian friends.
Don’t allow yourself to become callous! Don’t cave in, become hard-hearted and give up! Don’t allow yourself to become apathetic! Jesus’ warning was given out of love to open your eyes. And He wouldn’t have given it if you couldn’t change it! Jesus said, these things will steal your ability to love the way He loves! Examine your heart and as you do, ask the Lord to forgive you and help you get back on track. Ask Him to direct your steps and give you the strength to stay on track. Then do it! You have the power of the Holy Spirit within you to help you do it! He is waiting and ready to strengthen you!
I challenge you today. Pull out your Bible. Pray before your read and ask God to direct your heart through the verses you meditate on. Pray about what needs changing in your life. Because of your sincere love for God, the Holy Spirit will strengthen you and help you see the changes needed and the path to His will for your life. If you’ve drifted from church, begin searching for one until you find a church that teaches you the Bible and excites you to grow in the Lord. Call a Christian who loves the Lord and who you know will pray with you. Do whatever you know you should do to get on track. Don’t grow cold! Fall passionately in love with Jesus again! And in a very short amount of time, you’ll feel that relief and thankfulness that you are back on the right track of life and with God! The Holy Spirit has a perfect GPS system that won’t lead you to a road block but instead to the perfect path of God for your life! How exciting that is!
Hebrews 3:12-13 (TLB) “Beware then OF YOUR OWN HEARTS dear brothers, lest you find that they, too, are evil and unbelieving and are leading you away from the living God. Speak to each other about these things every day while there is still time so that none of you will become hardened against God, being blinded by the glamor of sin.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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